I was always a good eater! At my house, there was always really good cooking, and it was done by a great-aunt of mine who never married and who did not how to read. She lived for the kitchen! She cooked much better than my godfather, who was a chef! Between the two of them, the level of cooking was very high. The custom of good eating is what led me to seek out those flavors from my childhood that have been lost. I have great memories of the meatballs that my great-aunt used to make, almost impossible to repeat. She had a number of secrets in the kitchen that at the time did not interest me, and that were lost with her. What a shame!
½ kg of white beans
½ kg of lamb, chopped
50 grams of bacon, ham or similar
3 medium size onions
1 bay leaf
Soak white beans overnight. In a pressure cooker, brown bacon, ham or similar. If necessary, remove excess oil. Add beans and bay leaf and cook at pressure for 20 minutes until beans are al dente. Once ready, set aside with their broth. In another saucepan, with oil heated until it smokes, brown the chopped lamb. Lower flame and add onions, chopped into julienne strips, until caramelized. A small spoonful of honey can be added, and salt to taste. When the onion is transparent and begins to brown, add part of the bean broth without the beans. You can also use chicken stock. Add annatto, sufficiently dissolved to color the broth. Add paprika, or even hot sauce if you like.
Cook lamb in pressure cooker for 20 minutes. Add a generous pinch of cardamom and cumin, previously toasted and crushed. Stir in beans, removing bay leaf. Stir gently so as not to dissolve beans. Cook for five minutes over a medium flame to thicken sauce and mix all flavors. Serve.
The lamb should be soaked overnight in cooking wine, sour orange and garlic.
Jorge Rodríguez Diez, R10
(La Habana, 1969)
Visual artist. Graduate of the Higher Institute of Graphic Design (ISDI), in 1995. he studied cooking in his free time at the Playa Academy.